CABS faces contempt of court charge over US$45k exhibit

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

CABS faces contempt of court charge over US$45k exhibit 
CABS, represented by its legal and governance manager Ms Tafadzwa Mutsa Makoni, was not formally charged with contempt of court when it appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Simon Kandiyero on Tuesday and was remanded to June 12.

Fidelis Munyoro-Chief Court Reporter

CABS has appeared in court facing allegations of allegedly defying a legal instruction to release as foreign currency US$45 000 held as an exhibit of the court to a transport services company which was the complainant in a criminal trial.

The money was held as an exhibit on behalf of the court when an account was frozen at the start of a criminal trial. 

The bank declined to release the account as foreign currency saying it can only exchange the US dollar equivalent in local currency at the 2019 rate of US$1 to Z$1. 

The bank account was cleaned of all the cash within nine days in April 2018 before the introduction of the 2019 rate of 1:1.

CABS, represented by its legal and governance manager Ms Tafadzwa Mutsa Makoni, was not formally charged with contempt of court when it appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Simon Kandiyero on Tuesday and was remanded to June 12.

 Prosecutor, Mr Takudzwa Jambawu told the court that charges against CABS arose on June 13 2017, when Universal Transport Services (Pvt) Ltd, represented by its director Mr Blessmore Chanakira, was swindled of US$234 000 by Malvern Chimutashu.

 Police approached the criminal court and they were issued with two warrants of search and seizure to freeze the proceeds of crime which were held at Fidelity Printers and Refiners and CABS.

 On June 14 2017, police served both the bank and Fidelity Printers and Refiners with warrants of search and seizure prohibiting them from transacting with the proceeds of crime. CABS, in compliance with the warrant of search and seizure, froze account number 1003662641 belonging to Andrew Jubane.

 On November 3, 2023, the court heard, Chimutashu was convicted at the same court and the court ordered that the US$45 000 held in Jubane’s CABS account 1003662641 be released to Universal Transport with immediate effect.

 On January 18 this year, the company’s lawyers Diza Attorneys wrote to CABS informing them about the court order and also attached Universal Transport Service’s bank details for processing of the payment as ordered by the court.

 However, in February, CABS wrote that the account in question had a nil balance. In addition to that, the bank stated that the bank account in question was now dormant and they were not in a position to remit any funds as ordered by the court, the court heard.

 This month, police detectives served CABS with a warrant of search and seizure requesting the bank to furnish a bank statement pertaining to Jubane’s account from June 14 2017 to date. 

On Sunday, police obtained a bank statement from CABS which revealed that between April 3 to April 12 2018, the bank allowed transactions to be made through debiting Jubane’s account with purchases and cash withdrawals until the account reached nil balance, said the prosecutor.

 In so doing, CABS allegedly failed to comply with an order of a court which ordered that the US$45 000 held in Jubane’s account as an exhibit be released to Universal Transport with immediate effect which was given in respect of judicial proceedings. 

As a result of the CABS action, it is alleged that Universal Transport suffered actual prejudice to the tune of US$45 000.

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